The Kia Niro is doing for SUVs what the Toyota Prius did for hatchbacks―leading the way in making hybrids practical and popular.
In the mid-00s, SUVs and other large vehicles were shunned in favor of smaller, more fuel-efficient automobiles, thanks to a spike in oil prices. It was the perfect environment for a hybrid hatchback to succeed, and the Prius blazed a trail that other automakers have followed.
Fuel costs have dropped, since then, and SUVs are back in demand while sedans and other small cars have dropped in popularity. Larger vehicles’ return to favor hasn’t hampered sales of eco-friendly vehicles, as hybrid SUVs are now poised to give consumers the size and convenience of an SUV and the fuel economy of smaller vehicles.
According to Edmunds, sales of eco-friendly SUVs like the 2017 Kia Niro have helped reverse a temporary decline in green vehicles. Hybrid vehicle sales in the first six months of 2017 are up 21.5 percent, and hybrid and plug-in SUVs and light trucks now make up about 23 percent of all green vehicles sold.
The Kia Niro is a key player in the green SUV revolution. Introduced in 2016, the Kia Niro is a hybrid subcompact crossover SUV. The Niro is equipped with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that crank out 139 horsepower, providing plenty of power for the small vehicle. Drivers can put the Niro in eco mode, which saves gas, or sport mode, which provides more power.
The Niro gets about 52 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway, making it far more fuel efficient than conventional gas-powered SUVs and even small sedans. The Niro’s mileage is within the ballpark of the smaller Prius’ fuel economy.
The Niro provides a smooth and comfortable ride. Unlike other hybrids, the Niro’s regenerative braking system isn’t overly grabby, making the vehicle more pleasant to drive.
With regard to the vehicle’s interior, the Niro provides a well-designed cabin. It’s not the fanciest interior; the upholstery is standard cloth, but the seats are comfortable and provide adequate support for long trips. Available upgrades such as heated and ventilated seats, an adjustable driver’s seat, and a heated steering wheel can add comfort and enjoyment.
The dash design is laid out well and controls are easy to find. The vehicle offers ample cargo space—19.4 cubic feet of regular cargo space can be expanded to 54.5 feet with the rear seats folded.
Kia has been excellent about providing lots of technology as standard equipment in its vehicles, and the Niro is no exception. The Niro includes a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a USB port, and an infotainment system as standard equipment. Upper trim levels and available features packages include a premium sound system, upgraded infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and much more.
The Niro is a fuel-efficient SUV that’s fun to drive and has lots of great features. It’s definitely worth a test drive.
Community Cars sells new and used cars in Bloomington, including the Kia Niro. Stop by today to see the convenience and fuel savings a new Niro can provide.